I have always been partial to hybrid tea roses. These plants are very temperamental and cannot be grown organically unless in a hermetically sealed greenhouse. I, therefore, knowing the challenges, had reasonable expectations in the failure and success of the new roses I planted in this yard. Of the five, one looked so bad this second year that I dug it up and tossed it. I did not expect my Olympiad rose to grow so well and so easily. The flowers are perfect in shape, last for days and make excellent cut flowers in arrangements and the plant has thus far been resistant to both bugs and fungus!
I had planted cosmos from seed and they have been somewhat slow to start, but flowers are now beginning to form. This was a surprise as the cosmos I see that is growing with little encouragement in the road medians seems to be very robust. I anticipate my plants will be robust in re-seeding and I will have to watch them closely next year so that I keep them in their place.
My sunflowers, on the other hand, have been so very sad. Several were eaten by rabbits until I sprayed pepper spray on them and also deer repellent around them. But even so, they are struggling to grow in this wet non-California climate. While this photo above was taken days ago and the plants are now over two feet, I must admit that sunflowers are not going to be something I try again.
The vegetable garden has rewarded us with spring crops and now we are harvesting our first tomatoes, cucumbers and raspberries. I find the most wonderful pleasure in getting all kinds of herbs from my herb garden that sits just outside the front door. This was something I dreamed about when I was living in the apartment in the city. These garden tomatoes above (our first harvest for this year) are garnished with basil and fennel...they look almost like a Christmas decoration.